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Between Race Car Blues and Daisy Chain I didn’t stop writing. Music comes out so far after you finish it, especially after its initial inception. So, I was writing Daisy Chain just as Race Car was coming out, it’s all kind of bled into itself. There wasn’t a clean-cut decision after Race Car to have a gap, but I did hold back some songs from Race Car because I felt like they were maybe broaching some territory that would’ve been too far of a jump at the time. But that was a big part of the reasoning behind us releasing Race Car Blues–Chapter 2 because it had songs like The Level that had more of a focus on groove, and playing with some new ways of arranging our songs.
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A lot of Daisy Chain was written throughout the lockdowns, so my memory of a lot of the songs was trying to stay sane because I got into this pattern where the only thing I had control over was writing and the discography. I got up at sunrise every day, did 40kms on my bike and then I’d come home and would just write. And the next day on that bike ride, I’d listen to yesterday’s demos. I’d get up, just charge coffee, sit in my spare room and write. A lot of it was created in complete isolation, which means it’s so blurred and a lot of it I blocked out. It’s weird, I hardly remember lockdown looking back.
It felt like this album was written by me on a desert island. And it was like surfacing up for air after we finished it and handed it in. It was all I thought about and did for that entire period because there were zero distractions from gigs or anything like that. I just kind of went into a bunker.
It was kind of scary because when we released some of the singles from the album, generally you kind of have a litmus test of touring to throw in a new song here and there. But this time, there was a lot of build-up, and thinking: “What are people gonna think of this new sonic direction?”. As much of us, at the time of writing it, handing it in, and going: “Fuck yeah, this is the new Slowly Slowly”, and being ballsy in that way because we’d finished it…there was so much time to sit around and wait for it to come out. And then it became: “What have we done?!”. There was a little bit of that, but I think that’s probably a symptom of the amount of time between hanging it in and releasing.
So often with writing, I don’t even realise I feel that way until I’ve written the song, or I didn’t realise that things were happening. I didn’t even realise I was having a religious moment where I was trying to reconcile things with this album, or anything like that.
[ Ben Stewart ]
Like a lot of songwriters would say when writing a song, writing is how I process emotion. So often with writing, I don’t even realise I feel that way until I’ve written the song, or I didn’t realise that things were happening. I didn’t even realise I was having a religious moment where I was trying to reconcile things with this album, or anything like that. I was just waking up, doing my thing and then at the end of it, it read like a storybook for my life and, in some ways, the songs were like a premonition, tapping into something and then the shit I was writing about would made sense, post-writing. It’s strange, for this album I’d even written my own pep-up songs before I even needed them.